How To Get Rid Of Dog Lice

In trying to find out how to get rid of dog lice, you will come to find out that it isn’t as difficult as trying to get rid of fleas and ticks. 

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And as you’ll soon see, this is definitely due to the fact that fleas and ticks are fundamentally different from lice. Now. let’s find out what this lice are about.

About Lice

Lice are pretty interesting creatures; they are wingless insects with six (6) legs. These six (6) legs are not to be toyed with because they have some powerful hook-like claws attached to them.

With these claws, lice are able to latch onto the hair follicles of their host and cling on tightly. 

We should quickly point out that the lice that infest dogs and animals in general are not the same as the lice that infest humans.

As a result, you cannot contract lice from your dog and vice versa.

That said, there are actually two kinds of lice that can infest dogs and this categorization is basically based on what part of their host said lice are interested in.

The Trichodectes Canis and Heterodoxus Spiniger are also known as chewing lice because they basically only feed on surface secretions

On the other hand, Linognathus Setosus is also known as sucking lice because it feeds on blood. And while the sucking lice isn’t as common as the chewing kind, it is obviously more serious.

One more thing before we talk about curative measures, it is important to bear in mind that a female adult louse will reproduce throughout her life which is about 30 days. 

So, if left alone, you can have a host of potential chewers or blood suckers in just 30 days.

How Do Dogs Get Lice?

For dogs to get lice, there has to be a direct contact between an infested dog and a dog who isn’t.

Remember how we said that fleas and ticks are fundamentally different from lice? Well, here is why. 

Lice are not as resilient as fleas and ticks in that they, lice, cannot survive without a host and also cannot jump to look for a host.

Secondary transmission is also possible. However, the clothes or articles have to have been recently worn by or been in contact with an infested dog for it to have any effect.

Finding Out Your Dog Has Lice

Now, while lice might not be resilient enough to find a host, when they do find one, they do not easily let go. It is rare for you to find lice just dropping off of a dog because those hook-like claws give them good stay.

So, if you’ve noticed that your dog scratches a lot, especially if it is a particular spot, or you’ve noticed that your dog has begun to lose hair in certain areas, it is time to do a lice sweep.

In some terrible cases, dogs could even get anemia if they are infested by the blood suckers and especially if they are puppies. So, do take this seriously.

Checking Your Dog For Lice

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If you suspect that your dog has a lice infestation, check their fur, you’ll notice some whitish substances in their fur. But to be really sure, get you a flea comb and comb through your dog’s fur. If said whitish substances fall off, you are probably dealing with dandruff. However, if they do not, you are probably dealing with lice.

Getting Rid Of Dog Lice

To get rid of dog lice, the following options are available to you:

  • Use a flee comb.
  • Use a lice shampoo.
  • Use insecticide.

One, you could comb your dog’s coat through to get rid of the lice. However, this is pretty time consuming and because of how strongly lice can hold on to their host, combing through your dog’s coat might not get rid of all the lice.

Nonetheless, a flea comb is something to consider simply because there are no chemicals involved.

Plus, you could pair this with bathing your dog with a shampoo for lice.

On the other hand, you could just go the chemical route and get you insecticides. However, it is best you get a recommendation from your vet for this one.

That said, whichever dog lice control method you use, be well aware that none of them will get rid of the eggs.

As a result, you’ll have to apply the control regularly for about 6-8 weeks. If you’ll be combing and shampooing, those can be done once every week. The insecticides, on the other hand, can be administered once every two weeks.

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Preventing A Dog Lice Infestation

First off, if you have more than one dog, it is safer to automatically assume that all your dogs have been infested and treat them for lice. 

However, you might want to hold off on the insecticide unless you have ascertained that the other dogs have been infested too.

That said, it is also important to quarantine an infested dog, keeping them away from the other dogs and even dog kennels and such till you are done with the treatment.

If you have cats, you’ll have to be careful with the insecticides because they can be really toxic for cats.

Finally, it makes sense to immediately disinfect everything that an infested dog has worn or laid on including their beddings, clothes and even your floors.

So, for the time period that your dog is undergoing treatment, you’ll have to do regular washing of stuff and vacuuming of your floors.

How To Get Rid Of Dog Lice — FAQs

Does Vinegar Kill Lice On Dogs?

Vinegar is not powerful enough to kill lice. However, it is a good idea to use lice as a disinfectant. So, you can use vinegar to wash off your dog’s infested clothing and other articles but don’t expect it to get rid of the lice.

Does Dawn Dish Soap Kill Lice Eggs?

Dawn dish soap certainly does not kill lice eggs. It is not even powerful enough to be used as a disinfectant. Killing lice is certainly not what this dish soap, or any other dish soap, is made for.

How Long Can Lice Live On A Couch?

Lice do not live very long outside a host. In fact, most times, lice would be dead outside of a host in about 24 hours. So, lice might be able to live on your couch for about 24 hours.

However, if your dog has lice and you think lice has gotten on your furniture, you want to vacuum your floors and your furniture everyday for a week. This is to get rid of the eggs too.

Do Lice Eventually Die Off?

Well, lice do eventually die off, given time. However, the problem is that they breed really quickly. So, even if the adults die off, they’ve replicated themselves enough that you still have an infestation on your hands.

So, instead of just waiting for the lice to die off on their own, you want to do something about it.

Does Dog Shampoo Kill Lice?

There are some dog shampoos that are specially formulated to kill lice. So yes, the anti-lice shampoos actually work well to kill lice.

That said, bear in mind that regular dog shampoo doesn’t. So, if your dog has lice, you’ll have to change their shampoo.

Can You Feel Lice Crawling In Hair?

It is certainly possible to feel lice crawling in your hair. Lice can give the sensation of something moving in your hair. So, if you feel some kind of sensation in your hair, it could be indicative of a lice infestation.

That said, bear in mind that you can’t get lice from your dog. You can, however, get human lice from other humans.

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